Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Asterix the Gaul…

By Goscinny and Uderzo…

I thought this time around I would take a general look at Asterix and what it is I like about the characters and their stories. At some point I’ll look at individual books, but for now I thought I take the overview to the albums.

It was my younger brother, Chris that collected the Asterix books long before I did. I think from memory I only had two at the time in the middle eighties that I chanced upon them almost en masse with a local UK book store chain and unable to pick one I chose to take home two, which I promptly took home and read that night in bed.

Well trouble is, I find the stories very funny and, although very silly in its execution, I couldn’t help but snigger away all night as I read them, much to the frustration of my wife Margaret. Anyhow the next day I went back down to the store and picked up yet another two and so the cycle began again.

This went on for several weeks until I had the complete set up to date. The Corsica episode had me in stitches, so much so that the bed heaved and moved so much that Margaret asked me to stop reading them or at least not in bed…please!

The writing is always superlative and although I am told there are differences between English and French versions the humour and use of allusion and puns is superb. The artwork is likewise always superlative too and full of frenetic energy. Mixed together you have the perfect, symbiotic synergy and warmth of character to make the series the success it is.

I have my favourites, but they are all great reads and it is no surprise to me that they have stood the test of time and are continually in print, entertaining new generations as they come along.

A quick overview of my favourites in the series has to include:

  • Asterix and the Soothsayer
  • Asterix and the Cauldron
  • Asterix the Legionary
  • Asterix in Corsica
  • Asterix and the Great Crossing
  • Asterix and the Laurel Wreath
  • Asterix in Britain
  • Asterix in Spain
  • Asterix and the Banquet
  • And the beautifully written, drawn, and painted, How Obelix fell into the Magic Potion when he was a Little Boy.

Now that’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed the others in the series, but these stand out in my mind and for different reasons. I will be blogging on some of them as individual books over time.

I have come to realise, by writing this Blog that there are the four latest books still outstanding from my bookshelves, those being:

  • Asterix and the Secret Weapon
  • Asterix and Obelix, All At Sea
  • Asterix and the Actress
  • Asterix and the Falling Sky

I guess I can safely look towards a winter read or two, along with a goblet of magic potion and a portion of wild boar, after I go out and search the remaining books out.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
August 27th 2008

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